James's Liberty file collection index

This is a collection of files related to liberty, the right to bear arms, and the like. It contains mostly ancient philosophy rather than fast breaking news. The issues discussed here have been discussed for centuries or millennia, and the newest facts and newest arguments on these issues are mostly few decades old

Collected, edited, and sometimes written by jamesd@echeque.com

Some other sites relevant to liberty

Collected quotations
Some funny, some profound, many both profound and funny. By the famous, the infamous, and the obscure.
Natural Law and Natural Rights
An explanation of natural law and natural rights. Most of the old literature on natural law and natural rights, notably the writings of John Locke, has become incomprehensible because we no longer have the background knowledge of natural law that those writers assumed.
This article makes the concept of natural law intelligible to modern people.
“Natural Law” by Lysander Spooner
Spooner makes the natural law argument in favor of anarchy.

“[...] it is the right of anybody and everybody – of any one man, or set of men, no less than another – to repel injustice, and compel justice, for themselves, and for all who may be wronged, [...]”

John Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government.
John Locke's writings were a call to arms, an assertion of the right and duty to forcibly and violently remove illegitimate rulers and their servants. (1690) (Big file, 308,416 bytes)
Letter concerning toleration. Locke
John Locke argues that religious persecution is not caused by differing concepts of the good, but by simple old fashioned evil – one group seeks power and wealth by using organized violence to rob and subjugate another group, same as any other group conflict. (1689) (Big file, 118,316 bytes)

“If anyone maintain that men ought to be compelled by fire and sword to profess certain doctrines [...] it cannot be doubted indeed but such a one is desirous to have a numerous assembly joined in the same profession with himself; but that he principally intends by those means to compose a truly Christian Church is altogether incredible.”

Locke versus Hobbes
A short demonstration that morality is objectively knowable.
Most of the time, we can objectively determine right and wrong, near enough to be useful. We are not ultimately dependent on authority and upbringing.
Chapters 3 4 and 5 of “The descent of man”
Charles Darwin argues that a social animal must inevitably develop a moral sense, as it develops intelligence.

Sir B. Brodie, after observing that man is a social animal (Psychological Inquiries, 1854, p. 192), asks the pregnant question, “Ought not this to settle the disputed question as to the existence of a moral sense?” Similar ideas have probably occurred to many persons, as they did long ago to Marcus Aurelius.

Good and Evil from self interest, explained by Constant
“The Law”Bastiat
by Frederick Bastiat
A vigorous defense of the rule of law, and a demonstration that socialism must inevitably become communism. (1850)

“What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right [...] to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. [...]

[...] Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force – for the same reason – cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”

“That Which is Seen, and that Which is Not Seen” by Frederick Bastiat
Bastiat exposes numerous economic fallacies that are still widely argued today, that automation and layoffs are bad, that government spending is good for business, that protectionism benefits the economy, and so forth. This contains the famous and often quoted “Fallacy of the Broken Window”, the fallacy still so often used to justify destructive and hurtful government policies.

we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end -To break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labor; nor, more briefly, “destruction is not profit.”

Taxes and economic growth
In the United States since 1950 average growth during high tax periods was 1.08%, average growth during normal times was 2.45%. Every high tax period was a long period of economic stagnation, malaise, or decline or else contained a long period of decline. Such events were rare during normal tax periods. “Voodoo economics” works in the sense that tax cuts are apt to produce a substantial rise in government revenues after a little while.
The Internet: Killer Virus of the State
How the Internet will transform, is transforming, politics.
Customary law
How law is created through private arrangements, rather than by the limitless coercive power of the state.
Anarcho Capitalism. A short summary.
Drug Peace Before the war on drugs.
United States Declaration of Independence.
US Bill of Rights.
A parody of the US Bill of Rights.
United States Constitution.
Parody of the proposed US identity card.
Federalist Papers
Articles by some of the founding fathers. Provides the context that you sometimes need to understand what some sections of the constitution were intended to mean.
French declaration of the rights of man.
Had this declaration been observed, France would have had a constitution like Americas early constitution, based on popular sovereignty limited by natural law and natural rights. Instead they wound up with a constitution based on the limitless and absolute majoritarian popular sovereignty of Rousseau, leading inevitably to the great terror.
Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics. Aristotle
Why Aristotle is still relevant.
Aristotle's Politics. (Big file, 514,513 bytes)
The Anatomy of Modern “African Capitalist States”
Politics and economy in postcolonial Africa.
A Nation of Cowards.
A powerful and factual argument for the right to keep and bear arms.
Horrors! Maybe the Schools are Working Just Fine
The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta defined the rights of nobles in 1215. These rights were soon asserted by the middle class, then by all free men. In 1557 the King restrained the nobles from infringing on the right of serfs to keep and bear armor piercing weapons. Who today will protect our rights to such weapons?
Ayn Rand on money Rand
Extract from Ayn Rand's “Atlas Shrugged”: Money is the basis of moral and free relationships. The alternative to money is coercion. Virtue is the root of all money.
Why socialism needs killing fields
“What are you talking about? Giving people what they need doesn't require terror!”
“Who decides need?”
“It's pretty apparent to me!”
The Road To Serfdom Hayek
A condensation and summary of Hayek's great work exposing the fallacy of central planning.
Confessions of an ex commie
The universities lie
Sophal Ear (who lost two of his immediate family members in the Cambodian holocaust) reviews academic rationalizations, justifications, excuses, and deceptions concerning this event.
Chomsky lies:
If Chomsky actually believed what he seeks to pursuade the reader is true, he would not employ phrasing carefully and elaborately designed to cover his rear.
What Freedom is not
PJ O'Rourke defends the word “freedom” against those who would destroy the meaning of the word.
What really happened in Catalonia.
Those who seek to create a society of brutal extremes of power have lied about this event, just as they lied about Russia, about China, about Cuba, and about Cambodia.
Repression in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority.
By Lysander Spooner. Argues that the Federal Government was not entirely legitimate after the revolution, and became seriously unlawful when it gave itself vastly greater powers during and after the civil war.
The earliest statement of the anarcho capitalist position
In 1849, Gustav de Molinari argued on economic grounds for “Free Government” and “Free Self Defense”, by which he meant “free” as in “free speech” — the right of any individual or group to see to their own government and their own self defense